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May 17, 2023

Conversation with Nick Gray: The Low-Maintenance Way to Connect with Friends and Make New Friendships

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Have you ever noticed how difficult it's become to make new friends as you get older? It was just so much easier when we were kids.

"TAG. You're it. And now we're friends."

If it were only that easy. Do it now, and you might catch a case. Do this instead....

Join us on this podcast episode as we dive into the world of adult friendships and hosting parties with guest Nick Gray.

Nick is the author of The Two Hour Cocktail Party, a book that provides a step-by-step guide on hosting successful events. Nick shares his insights on developing meaningful friendships as an adult and the role hosting dinner parties, and events can play in cultivating these relationships.

(No cocktails necessary)

We discuss how he came to write this book and how it has helped him and others build connections. Nick has years of experience hosting events and provides us with valuable tips and tricks on making them successful. From setting expectations and defining the time commitment for events to using icebreakers to get conversations flowing,  Nick has a wealth of knowledge to share with tips and tricks that make even the shy come out of their shell.

We also discuss how we both use social proof to promote his events and the importance of creating a vibe at these gatherings. No one wants to come to a party where they're the only ones there.

Whether you're an introvert or extrovert, this episode has something for everyone looking to deepen their friendships and host successful events.

Tune in now to learn from Nick Gray and improve your social skills!


Find the podcast wherever you prefer to partake in podcast conversations, such as Apple Podcasts, Youtube, and Spotify. Just search "The Teevee Show Podcast."
Or visit my podcasting home at www.Teevee.fm for links for everything.

- - - - - 

The 2-Hour Cocktail Party: Amazon

Nick Gray's personal website

Party Reminder Messages: The 3 You MUST Send

How to Host a Party in a Small Apartment

How to Host a Swap Party in 2023: Clothes, Books, and More

Where to Throw a Party? Ideas and Venues for 2023

How to Host a Housewarming Party


Teevee Aguirre [00:00:00]:

Hello everyone and welcome to the Teevee Show podcast. My name is Teevee and on this podcast I usually bring on people that are doing some amazing things, usually in the realm of personal development, financial entrepreneurship, because those are interests that I find fascinating and that I'm always involved in. And I touch a lot on parenting simply because as a father, I can't help but figure out, try to figure out how I can learn something and then pass it directly on to my daughters. Today we have a fantastic guest. We have bestselling author Nick Gray. The author of The Two Hour Cocktail Party. We're going to talk a bit about this book and it's going to be a lot of fun because we're going to learn some things that we as adults just don't know. Having said that, Nick, welcome to the show.

Nick Gray [00:00:49]:

Thank you. I'm excited to talk to another super host. You have so much experience with this stuff that I think we're going to get to talk about social dynamics and networking that could give listeners a lot of great value.

Teevee Aguirre [00:01:03]:

Absolutely. And for context, besides hosting this starting to host this party, I had been hosting dance events for several years. And through that process of hosting those dance events here locally in Dallas, I learned a lot. And when I picked this book up, it actually gave me it's kind of like a guide on how to do it at a smaller level. I've learned that I really like bringing people together and I stopped hosting the dance party. So these little parties became integral, have become an integral part of my future plans because I just love bringing people together. So yes, absolutely. Because there's so much to unpack there. Human dynamics is an interesting thing. So before we get started, I have one big question, and that is how many marriages are you responsible for?

Nick Gray [00:01:57]:

I don't know if I'm actually responsible. I'm not sure. I've definitely helped people meet. I went to an event last night and I linked up a couple because I heard one was single. And you know what I told her was I said, show me a picture of your ex boyfriend right now. And she showed me and it looked like my friend Jonathan. And I ran over, I said, Jonathan, are you single? And I ran over and I said, you guys have to meet because this oh wow. And I think it was a good meetup, actually. They were both really happy. They texted me like an hour later.

Teevee Aguirre [00:02:30]:

Like, oh yeah, this is going to happen. We're going to date. Yeah. Wow, talk about a super connector, man, that's fantastic. At my events that I've hosted in the past, I'm responsible for a handful. And the reason I ask that is inevitably some people are just going to connect and it's not just business wise, right? Obviously there's the networking and possibly working together in the near future, which you can speak to what are some of the biggest payoffs for you as it relates to hosting these parties?

Nick Gray [00:02:57]:

So I started to host parties when I moved to New York City. I didn't really know anybody. I wasn't an extrovert. I don't do well at big loud events. But I learned that instead of going to bad events, I learned how to host a good event. Instead of going to bad parties, I'd bring the party to me.

Teevee Aguirre [00:03:13]:

That's fantastic.

Nick Gray [00:03:15]:

And I built up a network, this huge network of acquaintances and loose connections that helped me launch my last business called Museum Hack, which turned into a multimillion dollar company. I literally launched that off the back of all these connections I made at my parties. So I've seen some huge benefits.

Teevee Aguirre [00:03:32]:

It's beautiful. I was reading that in your bio and I was just blown away. And I think this could work without the party, without a party. But it's just not as fun. You can go to stuffy, business networking events, most of them anyways. Not all of them, because I do attend a couple that are fantastic. But when you bring people together, like minded individuals, magic happens. And you said it best, you hosted a really fun event that people could come to and now you're the center, I want to say the center of attraction, but you are managing and hosting it, so obviously the credibility goes through the roof for yourself.

Nick Gray [00:04:07]:

You know exactly the benefit. Maybe we could kind of talk about that. But it is so different when you're the center. When you are the host, everything changes. And it's a night and day experience of attending an event as an attendee versus being the host. And the benefits you get, we both can talk about how incredible those are. And the secret I found was by doing the cocktail party formula, this formula that I found for events, anyone can learn how to do that.

Teevee Aguirre [00:04:38]:

He's right. This formula is fantastic. I actually explored I read another book around dinner parties and I like hosting people. Let me rewind actually didn't like hosting people. But I became open to the idea after COVID I was thinking about hosting dinner parties to actually bring people together. I have incredibly incredible people that I have met over the last, say, 15 years of my life that I've been in business and bringing them together to get to know each other and vibe off each other. Maybe something beautiful can happen. And I was literally on the precipice of launching that kind of thing until I picked up your book. I listened to another podcast which you were featured on and I'm like 2 hours cocktail party, picked it up, read it, went through it really fast and you basically obliterated a handful of notions that I had in my mind and made it to where I could launch the party with your blueprint. Almost immediately. I literally was going to do certain things and like, oh, hell, he says, don't do that. Threw it out. It saved me a ton of time, ton of effort. And you make it so easy in the book, it literally is almost copy paste, to some extent, what you should do, not do. And for that I can verify that it is I want to call it the Bible or throw in a small event, a cocktail party, or what I ended up calling it what did I call it? I'll forget. Happy hour and cocktails.

Nick Gray [00:06:10]:

Yes, that's what I call yeah, I like that. I like calling it a happy hour, calling it a cocktail party. I think you said it great. A cocktail party is easier to host and it's easier to say yes to. And that's the big thing I found, was that a dinner party took too much time, too much stress, and I was able to get about 80% of the benefits of a mastermind dinner with only 20% of the work of a cocktail party.

Teevee Aguirre [00:06:35]:

Yeah, it was a fantastic turnout, I will admit. I've only done two. I think I had, like, eight at both of them, and it wasn't as many. But honestly, I felt like it was, like, 20 people in the room. The energy in here was skyrocketed almost from this first iceberg, which, by the way, everyone seems to hate. Not everyone. There are some people that hate them. I didn't realize how much of a stigma there was around icebreakers. Why do you think that is?

Nick Gray [00:07:09]:

I think there's a stigma around icebreakers for good reason, because they're done usually the wrong way, in a way that makes people feel awkward, uncomfortable, or put on the spot. And the way that if you remember from my book, I think that a good icebreaker is a fast icebreaker at the beginning of the night, you need what I call a green level icebreaker. That's an easy one. My favorite one is just to ask people, what's your name? What do you do for work? And what's one of your favorite things to eat for breakfast? What's your go to breakfast? Now, that one works well and why people should use it, because it doesn't put people on the spot. The icebreakers that I hate are say your name and two truths and a lie or say your name and a fun fact about yourself. That can be kind of hard. And we have to remember that a lot of the people that we invite to come over might be introverts. They might have social anxiety. They don't thrive. A party full of extroverts. I don't know. What do you think? I don't know what that would be like.

Teevee Aguirre [00:08:08]:

That would be outlandish.

Nick Gray [00:08:09]:


Teevee Aguirre [00:08:10]:

Nobody will allow the other person to talk. A lot of interruptions going on.

Nick Gray [00:08:14]:

It's true.

Teevee Aguirre [00:08:15]:

It's true. Yeah. You say something great there. And that's the reason that I think from your map, your roadmap for it, and that first question is key. I think it definitely allows that question or simple questions like that allow them to reveal something about themselves, which I end up kind of thinking of as hooks because we all can relate to each other. If we take a moment to get to know each other, like we all have similar things. We're human beings residing in the world, living under a certain weather, which is also the reason why I think a lot of people tend to fall back to, hey man, the weather really sucks or It's really rainy because we're all living under the same weather, we can relate to it. Your question allows us to share something of value. Seems invaluable. But what do you enjoy for breakfast? You say it in your book. I don't eat breakfast. I fast. What does that say about you? Right. Oh, I eat a hearty I eat a hearty meal, eggs, protein. And what does that say about you? Even if it's just simply like, Me too. They come over and then I see them, like, vibing off each other. It's the most insane thing to watch because you see energy just spiking in three or four corners of the room.

Nick Gray [00:09:30]:

And that's the purpose of the icebreaker is a conversational crutch to give people the excuse to go say hey and go meet somebody new. And you're exactly right. You identified it. Teevee the purpose of the icebreaker, that first one is it lets them express a little bit about their personality. And we do that breakfast icebreaker at the beginning of a happy hour because there's no rapport built up. People are a little bit loose, they're a little stiff, and that's an easy, fast one that just gives them the conversational access point to hopefully go say hey to somebody new because for your listeners, that's the purpose of these parties, and that's a purpose why you'll be successful. Why Teevee has had major wins from his life of hosting is that you get to be seen as the hub when you can help your friends make new friends. Everybody benefits. It's win win.

Teevee Aguirre [00:10:18]:

Yeah, I had two parties, had about eight in each. They all come in, usually the lay of the land they come in, a couple of them might know each other, so they're in their corners talking to each other. And then once the icebreaker kicks in, there's like at least two, three pockets of people alike that all of a sudden gravitate towards each other. And it's fascinating to watch because then you have me blow the whistle, which I love, by the way. I tell them at the beginning like, I'm going to blow the whistle, I love you, but you need to shut the hell up so we can move on with the part.

Nick Gray [00:10:57]:

Yes, it's true.

Teevee Aguirre [00:10:59]:

So it's like a pattern interrupt because otherwise they're not going to stop. The conversations get to be so rich, and it's just the most interesting thing.

Nick Gray [00:11:08]:

I think you said something interesting there, which is that it's not going to stop. And one of the biggest mistakes I see from a new host is they start a party, and they're worried about stopping the party to do a round of icebreakers. They're worried. They look around the room, Teevee, and they say, everything's going so well. I finally hosted a party. My friends are talking. Why would I stop it? Why would I stop this party that's going so well? And what they don't understand is that, number one, the best conversations will reform, and so you as a host should not feel a sense of, oh, I don't want to interrupt them. They're at a cocktail party. If this conversation is so important, trust me, they will reform it afterwards. But number two, your role as the host is to serve the entire party, and the way that you do that is by helping people have as many new conversations as possible. So you really want to see movement within your room.

Teevee Aguirre [00:12:03]:

Yes, that is absolutely true, because I think it also depending on what's going on in the party, there may actually be some natural into it, but there's this internal conflict about whether I should just break or how do I break? Do I make the excuse that I got to go to the restroom? Or that other person seemed intriguing, but I don't want to make it seem like I don't want to talk to this person. This allows for me to be the bad guy, quote unquote. Actually, in the last one, I had somebody say they were going to slip the whistle up my butt. That was a little over the top, but she was shocked. Me. She's an older lady. I'm like, damn, I didn't know you had that in you. But that's okay. You'll love me for it.

Nick Gray [00:12:44]:

That's fun, though.

Teevee Aguirre [00:12:47]:

All right. Okay.

Nick Gray [00:12:48]:

That's a different type of party. You got to come to my other party.

Teevee Aguirre [00:12:51]:

Yeah, I didn't know that's. What I did not have that anticipated for this party, but okay. Something else that came out of this for me, and I didn't think about it when I first started it, but it became evident after the first one, and that is this. I actually created a little real because I thought about this but didn't connect it to this party and how it was going to benefit others. When you're children, when we're kids, we take for granted how easy it is to make friends. You literally walk over to some kid and say, you want to play with me? Or you punch them and you run. And now you're playing a game now that's, like, looked down upon in society as an adult, we can't do that. But also, we don't really learn how to make friends, how to network, but actually just be friendly. Go out, introduce yourself randomly to people with this. It essentially is helping nurture that skill of looking out for people to invite, looking out for people to bring in and then obviously hosting it. But that life skill that nobody never heard anyone say, okay, and this is how you can make a friend, honey. Yes, but that right there is so useful. And that was another for me, another benefit of the party.

Nick Gray [00:14:08]:

It's true. Do you notice when you are hosting your dance meetups or with these parties that once you have the party, you start to I don't know, it just feels like you meet more people because you're like, oh, I will invite them to the party. You have this friendship funnel that you just start collecting people into because now you have an easy invitation for them.

Teevee Aguirre [00:14:32]:

You have an excuse or a justification to get to know them better. Yes. There's a guy in the elevator that I'm dying to invite. I've had an interesting little conversations here at my place. They're like, OOH, at the next party, I'm inviting this guy. Now you find reasons to want to meet more people? Yes, and it is the most fascinating thing that I notice about myself in hosting them. Like, I want to know them better. I want to introduce them to my friends.

Nick Gray [00:15:02]:


Teevee Aguirre [00:15:05]:

What are some things that you've heard from some of your other participants? Because I know you've had these conversations. You called me out of the blue. You said, hey, Teevee, you want to talk?

Nick Gray [00:15:13]:

That's true.

Teevee Aguirre [00:15:14]:

You called me. I was like, oh, shit. The author is going to talk to me. Okay. You're the first author I've ever talked to. Or that reached out to me, by the way.

Nick Gray [00:15:21]:

Oh, yeah, no, it's nice. I like that. You just grabbed the book and you took off. You went for it. You're someone who actually you challenged me.

Teevee Aguirre [00:15:28]:

Just to say I had to say that you challenged me. You're like, here's a challenge. In two weeks, maybe four weeks, I forget what it was. Do it. And I'm like, okay. Yes, sir.

Nick Gray [00:15:36]:

It's true. It's true. You did it, though, by the way, we haven't talked about our mutual friend. We have a mutual friend who has hosted as well. Have you been to one of his parties?

Teevee Aguirre [00:15:47]:

I have not. My girlfriend has. He's taken off with them, and he's one that he's met his significant other. He didn't it wasn't through a party that he hosted, but it was through your mutual connection. His significant other and him have become incredibly significant to each other through the virtue of what you've been doing and the work that you've been putting out there.

Nick Gray [00:16:12]:

Yes. We're talking about Maddox, who runs a podcast as well, and they've really used that stuff. Anyhow, I hear great things, and I have a lot of stories from people, but the listener that I'm hoping to connect with that is maybe listening to this podcast now or watching us on video is someone who says, I don't think I need this book. I don't host parties. This isn't for me.

Teevee Aguirre [00:16:35]:

You're actually looking for that one? Okay.

Nick Gray [00:16:37]:

Yes, I'm looking for that one because I'm trying to encourage a new generation of hosts. And many people may hear about your dance meetups that you were hosting and say, oh, I'm not a dancer. That's not for me. But I think the cocktail party formula that I have found, which uses name tags, icebreakers, some structure, it tells you a minute by minute outline of what to do. I think almost anybody can do that, and I think you can get big benefits from it. So that's my whole thing is I'm crazy to try to convince people to say, look, these neighbors, the people you bump into in the elevator that you see, you walk around your neighborhood, you see them all the time. You say, oh, we should get coffee. We should get dinner. Put them into the cocktail party. So much easier.

Teevee Aguirre [00:17:25]:

That's another thing. You reminded me I have been trying to be a better friend in so many ways. I'm pushing 50, and I actually have a great network of friends and family, but I run into this thing where I don't have enough time in my week because I also run a business and I don't have enough time in the week to actually have dinner with each one of them. Yes, right. And you said it right now it's like I could sit there and invite all of them, and my calendar would be filled every single week trying to stay in touch with all of them. However, this allows you to host one party where you bring I've seen some of your in the Facebook group, you have like they're bringing in 20 or 30 people. Bring them in, and now you can have some form of connection with them as opposed to try to meet every single one of them one on one. That's going to take you all year, and then you do it again. It just becomes overwhelming. This allows you to do it in such an easy, low key, low maintenance way. I have a bunch of stickers the name tags, yes, they think they're stupid when they walk in, but then later they realize like, oh, wait, that was very useful. Everyone thinks I'm kind of crazy, and they think, oh, by the way, they think I made this up, that I'm just a genius. And little do they know that there's actually a book that outlines it all.

Nick Gray [00:18:50]:

But that's good. That's great readers. I heard from this guy whose name is Tom, he lives in Houston, and Tom is a screenwriter. And he said, look, I'll be honest. I got social anxiety and I'm terrified. I'm an introvert. But your book gave me the permission to know exactly what to do. It gave me a job, and it told me exactly the guidelines of what was going to happen. Every minute of those 2 hours. And for some people that have never hosted before, they need someone to hold their hand and to show them. Now, there may be advanced people like you who are listening to this and the point you just said really may resonate with them. How many people do you have in your life that are those acquaintance level connections that, you know, you could fill up your whole year with coffee meetings, but the reality is by hosting a cocktail party, by having a happy hour, call it whatever you want, by the way. Yeah, in 2 hours and the time it takes to watch a movie on Netflix, you can connect with 15 to 20 of those people and add value to help them meet new people. I mean, if there's not a better way to build your network, it seems win win.

Teevee Aguirre [00:20:03]:

It is. Like I told you, I've been kind of sucking it up a little bit. I've only done two businesses gone crazy for me and it's just now starting to settle down.

Nick Gray [00:20:14]:

Great. The business is crushing, dude. Congratulations.

Teevee Aguirre [00:20:17]:

It is. It's kind of like the year we flipped calendar years and all of a sudden I'm running and gunning and I can't keep up with things. But I had made a commitment that I was going to do them every month and I've fallen off. Having said that, though, people are asking either to be invited because they saw the postings or to come again. So that is invigorating. That is something I want to do. And on top of that, I stopped hosting the dance events at the beginning of the year, so I have more time to actually devote to this type of thing. I wanted to share though, in terms of the life skill. Going back to that for a second. We don't learn how to how to become friends, how to seek out friendships. I've actually started to use this as a training tool for my daughters. My oldest one is 20. She came to the first one. She has a job, she has everything. She has things going well for her. But I want her to start having developing this skill. So I invited her to the first one and she met and she hit it off. It was a fantastic turnout and she did well because she's my daughter, so we talk a lot. So it's not lack of conversational skills. It was just lack of being in this type of environment. So I wanted to share that with that's.

Nick Gray [00:21:38]:

Pretty cool. Is she going to host one herself or is she just using it to work on her networking skills like that?

Teevee Aguirre [00:21:45]:

Use it for her for networking skills. Right now she's still working on trying to find her own place and that kind of thing. I anticipate that it will be something she does because she has that mindset that wants to develop and can continue to grow her network. Second to that though, is her boyfriend. I invited him to the second one. Now, for him, he's never been anything like this, ever. So he's very more of a to himself kind of individual. He's a musician. On top of that, though, I wanted to share this with you because it was interesting. I met with him yesterday and he told me he said he wanted to start writing songs. And I don't know what happened in this group, by the way, in this particular one, but one of the things that was told to me is I was asked later, is like, do you hand pick and curate your guests in such a way that they will get to know that they match up on so many interests? I'm like, not really just cool people, because she said everyone there matched some part of me. Everyone was magnificent and matched some personal desire or passion of mine. They also aligned. And for this young man, I don't know what happened, but he had told me that he wanted to start writing because he's a guitarist, but he wants to write lyrics. And whatnot. Yesterday he said that after my party, he started writing. He didn't do very well, but he's continued since then, and he's now, like, really growing that skill. So the payoffs, I guess the big point of the story is we don't know what those payoffs are for those individuals. What spark is lit? It's just a beautiful thing.

Nick Gray [00:23:34]:

Can you tell?

Teevee Aguirre [00:23:34]:

You bring people together.

Nick Gray [00:23:36]:

What was your answer to him? Did you intentionally do that or did it just happen? It just happened, right?

Teevee Aguirre [00:23:44]:

Yes. I had creative people in the room, like I had poet. I'm kind of surrounded by I'm in the spoken word poet circle. I'm familiar. So I brought a poet that I knew. I brought artists. I brought different just type of artists. And I think that may have been it, but it's just bringing people in from my world, from the different pockets that somehow something happened to him and he's so happy and grateful for. And he spoke more that day than he really has in a long time. He started to develop that skill for himself.

Nick Gray [00:24:23]:

That's really cool. Somebody's been asking it's. A question I get a lot is who do I invite to these parties? And my advice for most people is that for a new host, and this is counterintuitive, tell me if you agree with me, but I actually want them to have more people rather than less. I actually advise new hosts to have 15 people as a minimum. Maximum is 20. But the reason is that for a new host, it's actually easier with more people. And what I have found is that with a smaller group, like where you have nine or ten or eight, it actually requires a bit more work from you as the host to curate. And I don't want to say babysit, but you have to be a part of conversations. I have found that with 15 people, sometimes I need to recharge. I need to go in my bedroom and lay down and scroll social media to just take a breather. And I can't do that at smaller parties. What do you think about that?

Teevee Aguirre [00:25:26]:

That makes perfect sense. Actually, I was shooting for 15 for both of them. It just worked out to seven. I think the second one there was a cancellation. I had COVID, that's what it was. But I can completely see what you're talking about because even with those eight, I was feeling a little overwhelmed because I want to nudge people along or how you're coming along? How are you doing with 15? They're entertaining the hell out of each other. They're into each other's stories or digging in, sharing whatnot. So if having I imagine if you have five, like, you have to be a participant and already hosting and managing and taking care of the little things. You may be the drinks or whatever is going to be a little much. Breaking away. That happened several times. I remember just standing at the counter and watching and being able to take that break that you just mentioned. So I can see where that would be useful. I haven't experienced it, so I can't really say this or that, but I can see why that would be beneficial.

Nick Gray [00:26:25]:

Something else I hear from people that is a fear or a thing. Okay. Number one fear from people is that they are worried that nobody will show up. It's the number one fear of a new host. It's why most people don't host. They're afraid nobody will show up. They're afraid that they'll be rejected from the invitation. As someone just that yourself, as someone yourself who's invited people to a lot of events, whether it's this style party or other stuff, could you talk a little bit about how you would help them think through that concern or fear?

Teevee Aguirre [00:26:59]:

Absolutely. I didn't realize it until you made that comment. My dance events, people say they're interested, but it's on Facebook or wherever, and more than anything I've learned that's more of, like, a bookmark. It doesn't mean that they're actually coming. It's an interested yeah, that sounds interesting. So I've had events where, like, two or 300 people say they're interested to my dance parties. So out of that, maybe one third.

Nick Gray [00:27:31]:

Of them show up.

Teevee Aguirre [00:27:32]:

So it's very hopeful and you have no idea. This is much more personal. The likelihood of them showing up becomes much higher. I say it's probably 80% to 90% because it's one on one. They're either talking to you through text or email or message. It's a personal connection, and they've actually gone out of their way to RSVP. In your book, I think you line up certain comments or ways to describe the event that I think there's a bigger buy in that if they actually do our SVP, they'll be here outside. Of some circumstances, and it happens. And that did happen, actually. That's why we went from like twelve to eight, which is fine, but nobody's showing up that I find virtually impossible in this type of party.

Nick Gray [00:28:18]:

Yeah. Plus, we use that idea through my book of what's called the double opt in invitation. A lot of super hosts tell me, oh, wow, I'm going to use this for all my events. The old way of inviting is, okay, I'm going to do a party on this night, and now I'm going to spray the invitations and pray that people show up. Spray and pray. That's not a good way because it doesn't work and it's a lot more stress. The better way is to do what I call the double opt in invitation, and that's sending a message for your first five people. The group that I call your core group.

Teevee Aguirre [00:28:58]:

That's right.

Nick Gray [00:28:59]:

Those first five, you're going to say, hey, I'm thinking about hosting a happy hour on Tuesday night, May 12, from seven to 09:00 P.m. At my apartment. If I do it, would you come? Okay. And you want to get five of those? Yeses. First, and you ask your close friends, your neighbors, your colleagues, people you feel comfortable with being a little vulnerable to say that once you get those five, now you have them RSVP, you create an RSVP page on a free event platform, and that is your core group. That gives you the confidence. What do you think about that Teevee?

Teevee Aguirre [00:29:29]:

I love that because I can piggyback that into what I do with my events. So not only did I host the event, but I'm also a marketer, so I'm also studying psychology and understand the principle of the hive mind and social proof. I make it a point when I'm hosting my dance events to try to get to 100 people interested. Yeah. Of those, maybe 30 or 40 show up if we're lucky. But if I show that I have 100 people interested as the promotion, I run ads to these events. That's how big I go on. Oh, wow. Yeah. This is not like, oh, hope and pray. I'm a marketer. I don't hope for anything other than I put money behind it. So that hundred, 50 minimum hundred would be ideal when I keep pushing it out, or if people share it organically, they look at how many people are interested because nobody wants to go to a party where they're the only ones, much less a dance event. So that same principle there is what you described. And when I remember I forgot about that when I read that, that made perfect sense because you want to show the next batch I forget what you call that, the next group of people outside of your core group. Look, you're not coming to a party where you're the only one. There's already a handful of people that have already peed as public, and they feel more inclined to say, okay, I'll do that. That seems of benefit and of value to me. And then the likelihood of them actually opting in is much higher. Usually the people that ask Will if their calendar is free, say yes, because of those initial five or six people. So I thought that was a genius. There were so many times I was reading this book, and I'm like, oh, my God, that's genius? Really? I'm doing that?

Nick Gray [00:31:10]:

Thank you so much. That means a lot to me, because you get it too. You understand how it works. And so that means a lot that somebody like you, who has those advanced social skills, who's hosted a lot of events, still found value in it. Because sometimes I'm I worry this is really for beginners, this isn't for people, but it's nice to hear from you. So that's nice.

Teevee Aguirre [00:31:34]:

I think one of the things you do really well is you've diluted a really difficult concept, like throwing a party. That can be pretty involved, but you dilute it, and you include so many tips, explanations, and simplify it in such a way that, even for me, I'm like, oh, man, I've been overcomplicating that thing right there. So although it may be simple, to me, it was, like, incredibly beneficial and saved me hours that I would have wasted trying to spray and pray, because this is more of an intimate kind of thing. So I can definitely tell you that I found incredible value. And yes, literally, in four years, I've hosted over 100 events.

Nick Gray [00:32:20]:

Oh, my God, my mouth is white. I'm like, wow.

Teevee Aguirre [00:32:24]:

My first one and like I said, I promoted. I didn't want to throw at an event and have ten people show up. So the first one, I had, like, 20 or 30, and then we averaged 50 for a while, and then by the end, I was trying to push closer to 80 to 100. I had to learn to MC. I had to learn to manage the room. And so a lot of the things that you talk about in the book, in terms of just moving people along, encouraging them to do this, making announcements, blah, blah, blah, I've learned through a lot of reps, and I stutter so bad on the mic, but you'd only learn through the reps. So when I came to this book, you really made it easy for me to continue doing this, especially now that I've given those up and I still found them useful. So that's a long winded way of saying, no, don't feel insecure. Trust me, I found the information very useful, and anybody can, even if they just start out.

Nick Gray [00:33:19]:

Thank you for saying that.

Teevee Aguirre [00:33:22]:

Yeah. So my next question to you is, what's next? You no longer have the museum. Is it the hack? I forget what you called it. The museum hack.

Nick Gray [00:33:33]:

Museum hack. That was my last business. Renegade museum tours.

Teevee Aguirre [00:33:38]:

What are you doing these days? To take up your time besides touring the world.

Nick Gray [00:33:43]:

So now I'm focused on these parties. My goal is to get 500 people like you to read my book and host a party using my method. And so I spend all day trying to preach that gospel of the benefits of hosting a gathering, because I really do think that there's something of a loneliness epidemic that people are talking about that as we get older. I read a statistic that said 19% of American men don't have a close friend. They don't have a single close friend. And so trying to get people to host parties, I said, Look, I'm going to dedicate a solid year of my life after the book launch to trying to promote it and get the word out. And then as a self published author, this is my full time job as sharing my book. There's nobody out there that's talking about my book if it's not me. And so that's what I love to do, and I truly love it. It is the most fulfilling, great work I've done.

Teevee Aguirre [00:34:35]:

That's fascinating. I love that. And thank you for the book. I've obviously already written a five star review just here alone.

Nick Gray [00:34:44]:


Teevee Aguirre [00:34:49]:

I'm excited about what you're doing because I know that even for me, I've never had an author reach out. I know in the book, you say, hey, email me. So I did, and almost immediately you replied and then even asked for a conversation on the phone. And I'm like, oh, crap, babe, he wants to talk. This is crazy. But you gave me tips and advanced icebreakers and different things that you've learning. So it seems like being this master organizer, you're talking to so many people that are doing so many things. And I'm seeing some creative approaches, including Maddox. He's doing this. He's adding his spin to it and making it his own in a way that's really intriguing. But what types of other events are you seeing? Or how are other people remixing your idea into a new thing? What other ideas are out there?

Nick Gray [00:35:41]:

So I talked to a woman two days ago who's based in North Georgia, and she was hosting a birthday party, and she read my book. She happened to grab it just a couple of days before her party. So a little bit late in the cycle because I really want people to plan it from the beginning. But she said, oh, what can I use and do for this? Well, I said, the number one thing that most people forget to do at their own party is to take a group photo. And it sounds so simple and easy, but those memories are so great to have. And also, as someone who knows social psychology, you use those group photos later for social proof. When you host your next party, you use that picture to help invite and get other people to attend. You can probably know how that's going.

Teevee Aguirre [00:36:27]:

Yeah, I will say this and I try to coach and mentor other event organizers and I tell them, even if you're doing it on the cheap and you're trying not to spend too much, the single best thing that you can do is take a group photo. Yes. I learned this from another dance group that when they first started, after every class, they would take a group photo and they'd share it. They'd tag everyone and then the social proof and then everyone being able to tell the story. Yeah, I came to this party, it was fantastic. I had such a good time. Oh really? I want to go. And then the next one is a little bigger and the next one is a little bigger. Then now you have a dozen of those and organically, the party becomes like self sustaining. They got people wanting to be invited. It becomes an interesting thing. And that's the way it worked out for these dance people. Just doing that alone. When you said that, see, I told you so. Group photos are everything. And then especially at something like this with social media, it's a no brainer.

Nick Gray [00:37:25]:

It's an easy little hack, right? And it's something small. And that's one of those things again that nobody teaches us how to do this. Nobody teaches you how to host an event. And so little things. I told her something else. I said, hey, look, for your birthday party, what time did you set it? And the reality is she only set a start time. She didn't set an end time. And as a result she was going to have people show up hours late. I think she had it start at 05:00. And I said, well, people really aren't going to know what time to show up. So I really suggest people, I say you need to have a start time and an end time. And then if you want it's an advanced move, but you can include a rough approximate agenda. Just give people an idea and that helps encourage them to show up on time. And you don't have to stick to the agenda. I rarely do myself, but it gives people an idea of what will happen. And we find that with those introverts or anxious people, simply setting the expectations helps them be more successful at a social gathering.

Teevee Aguirre [00:38:22]:

100% agree. That's a topic that I think a lot about is setting expectations. And managing expectations is massively important skill set in and of itself. I'm known for being a jerk when it comes to times, especially dance events, because people like to stay really late and they will keep going and going. I'm like you all can stay. The venue is still running. But I'm out. Yes, because I got to work in the morning. I got things to do. But you mentioned that in the book and the need for that is very important. And I will add that on top of that for the people that may come. They see that it's not an all night thing, that you're not planning to go to two or 03:00 in the morning or midnight. They're usually older individuals. They have work in the morning. So being able to clearly define that it is 2 hours allows people to say, okay, I can commit to 2 hours. That's an easy commitment. Dragging them out is and that's actually something that we could talk about here. It is the most interesting thing, and I think you talk about it in the book. Their connections are going to be so rich that getting them out. And this is the same thing. At the dance event, I start turning lights off. I learned this when I was in the grocery business. It was a trick. You start turning lights off to tell people, like, we're 15 minutes from closing, we're ten minutes giving them a countdown. I would do that as well. Two more songs and we're out. So for this event, it's the same thing. People just could not I'm shoving them out of the door. All right, guys, I can carry this on down the street. And sure enough, the last one we had, people, I got FaceTimes from someone, a friend of mine. He was here. I'm here with the gang. All six of them or eight of them. We were having a good time. They literally could not get enough of each other then.

Nick Gray [00:40:17]:

How nice is that? How nice is that?

Teevee Aguirre [00:40:20]:

It is beautiful. And to know that I help facilitate that is the most fulfilling thing for me. It is absolutely beautiful and something that gives me joy.

Nick Gray [00:40:29]:

Heck yeah. Heck yeah. That's what it's about, right? Helping our friends to meet new people. That's why I'm so passionate about this. It's why I spend all my time on it, because I know that we're doing good by getting people to host these parties. I know that they're good parties.

Teevee Aguirre [00:40:44]:

I'm curious to see how many people reach out to me after this. This goes live.

Nick Gray [00:40:49]:


Teevee Aguirre [00:40:50]:

It should be fun, because I hope that more people already said, I like this idea. How can I do it? I was recommending your book thank you. Through the roof. So I still got to give the copies that you gave me because I haven't seen anybody recently. Yeah. So I'll make sure that those get out into their hands. Let me ask you one last question. I think you sent an email and you said that I don't know how you're approaching it, but that you've learned some things since publishing it that you wish you had included, or you're looking to revise, or maybe the revisions are in the emails that you're kind of an addendum to the whole thing. Could you share some of those?

Nick Gray [00:41:28]:

Yes, I'll tell you some of those. So number one is my concept of the last icebreaker has slightly changed, and I believe that the last icebreaker at the party needs to be what I now refer to as a value additive icebreaker. What do I mean by that? What I mean is that everybody's answer should add value to the room. And you'll use one of those three questions that I have in the book. One of them is, what's a great piece of media that you've consumed recently. It could be a documentary you watched, that you loved, a podcast like this, that you listened to, a book that you read. It could even be a TV show you binge watched. But what's something that you like and you recommend? Another one I like is what's one of your favorite purchases for $50 or $100 or less that you've made? It could be an object, like a gadget in the kitchen. Or it could be an experience, like a nice massage or going roller skating at an adult skate night. I love those two questions because everybody's answers makes the room feel smarter. They get new ideas. And that last icebreaker, I want people to leave your party feeling smarter, feeling like they got great ideas and suggestions. And note, again, that people's answers do express their personality. They do give people an excuse. Oh, my gosh, I love that show. Oh, that book is so good. It gives them something to connect with. But that concept of a value additive icebreaker is good. A bad example would be let's all go around the circle. Say your name, say what you do for work, and say how you know me. Okay. Say how you got kind of connected to me. I think that's a bad example because people's answers don't add value to the room.

Teevee Aguirre [00:43:14]:

They don't make information look best.

Nick Gray [00:43:16]:

Yes. It's just a data point. Right.

Teevee Aguirre [00:43:19]:

Interesting. Okay. I love that.

Nick Gray [00:43:21]:

So that's one thing.

Teevee Aguirre [00:43:22]:


Nick Gray [00:43:23]:

The second thing is the book was written really for the beginner mindset, and that first icebreaker. A lot of people are getting confused when to run the first because there's three rounds of icebreakers in the book that you're supposed to do. And many people are half about half the people are missing the first icebreaker. And so I'm still thinking through that, frankly. To be honest, I'm still thinking it through.

Teevee Aguirre [00:43:46]:

Thank you so much for writing this book.

Nick Gray [00:43:48]:

Yeah, thank you.

Teevee Aguirre [00:43:50]:

It was one of my best purchases of last year. I buy a lot of books. Yours is the only one I finished reading. You make it easy to read and useful. It's just useful to the common man. It doesn't matter what you do, what socioeconomic class you're in. We all need more friends. We all need to grow our network. And this makes it stupid easy. I can't even describe how easy it can be. I will say my girlfriend insisted insisted on creating, like, an entire little table full of snacks because she's a chef and she makes she wants to make it look pretty. I'm like, okay, babe, we actually almost had an argument around that. He said we don't need to do that. But it was her way to add value and I love her for it. But that is unnecessary. You say it in the book. I've said it several times in terms of it can be really simple and you don't need to be an extrovert. You don't need to have hosted 100 parties. For me, it was relatively easy to do. You may have never hosted a party and be an absolute introvert. This gives you an excuse and it makes it easy to get to know people and become the center of it all and beautiful things come out of it. I don't know if anybody's going to marry you necessarily. That's a whole nother level, but maybe it's true. I tell that to people. I met my girlfriend dancing and I used to do it in my market. I'm like, we met dancing. I'm not saying that's what's going to happen for you, but maybe it's better than swiping big time.

Nick Gray [00:45:26]:

Oh, my Lord. Yes.

Teevee Aguirre [00:45:27]:

Right. So creating a party allows you to just more opportunities for you, name it, business, personal life, and you grow as a human being. So, having said that, Nick, where can people find you? Where can people find your book unless they know me? And I have a couple of copies that I'm going to give away. Where can people connect with you, share all your stuff? I'll make sure to include in the show notes, but I would like for you to share that right now.

Nick Gray [00:45:55]:

Yeah, please. The name of my book is The Two Hour Cocktail Party, and you can find it on Amazon or anywhere that books are sold online. I recorded The Audible myself and I'm really proud of it. So if you're someone who only listens to books, then check out The Audible. I do think it's real helpful to have the copy in your hand. It's meant to be like a workbook with checklists and diagrams and things like that. Yes. If you're watching the video, he's showing a great one. Now, I have a blog and I've written some articles about how you can use this book to host a happy hour, a networking event, how to even use it for something like a clothing swap or even a baby shower. This formula can be applied to a lot of different types of events and I'll include those links in the show notes for those other ideas and sort of pro tips from my website, which we'll link in there. You can get a list of, I think, 17 things, like a checklist before your next gathering. You can download it on my website for free, so I'll link that and then on social media, I'm on Instagram and Twitter, and my name there is at Nick Gray News. N-I-C-K-G-R-A-Y-N-E-W-S-I got a good friend's newsletter. You got to check it out. If you see me share about it.

Teevee Aguirre [00:47:14]:

I love his newsletter. It's actually really useful. I like the tone and the way you share random things that you're into and things you come across. Yours is one of the few that I read because I feel this is interesting. Maybe you're doing this on purpose. I don't know. I feel like you add value, value additive. Like I've learned something and it's not necessarily something that you've written 100%, but something that you've come across that's useful. Thank you for that.

Nick Gray [00:47:42]:

Thank you very well.

Teevee Aguirre [00:47:43]:

It's enjoyable. Always feel a little more informed. Having said that, once again, my name is Teevee. I forget where I'm at. I was going to say my podcast. I have a business podcast.

Nick Gray [00:47:54]:


Teevee Aguirre [00:47:55]:

Thank you for listening to us on the Teevee. What am I? Where am I? The Teevee show podcast. I am so sorry. Thanks to Nick. Please follow him everywhere. Buy his book. Listen to the audible. He's a fantastic human being. I'm glad. Thank you for your time, Nick. I really appreciate you and your response. When I offered this, asked you if you'd be interested. You said yes, let's do it. It an exclamation in all caps. Made me feel incredibly important. Thank you all for listening. Until the next episode. Bye.

Nick GrayProfile Photo

Nick Gray


Nick Gray is an entrepreneur and best-selling author living in Austin, Texas. He started and sold two successful companies: Flight Display Systems and Museum Hack. Nick is the author of The 2-Hour Cocktail Party, a step-by-step handbook that teaches you how to build big relationships by hosting small gatherings. Over 75,000 people have watched his TEDx talk about why he hates most museums. He’s been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and New York Magazine called him a host of “culturally significant parties.”